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No. 158, 21st November 2014

1. Vietnam: 1,000 dead seaturtles found in warehouse

SOURCE: – DATE: 19th November 2014
About 1,000 dead marine turtles in a warehouse raided by police in Nha Trang City, Vietnam hours ago, according to the Education for Nature of Vietnam (ENV). However, fumes from processing chemicals prevent authorities from doing an accurate count until morning. Police are estimating that substantially more turtles may be in the warehouse but the true count won't be known until tomorrow when a full inventory is completed.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnam)


Hoan Kiem turtle emerged in November 2014
Ha Dinh Duc

2. Vietnam: Hoan Kiem turtle emgered again

SOURCE: – DATE: 10th November 2014
On the morning of the 10th of November 2014, the Hoan Kiem Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) emerged in the famous Hanoi lake for 30 minutes, it has also been seen surfacing on the 1st of November 2014.

Link to this web article online (Vietnam)

3. India: Red-Crowned Roof Turtle Assurance Colony Grows in India

SOURCE: – DATE: 11th November 2014
The TSA India team has been hard at work at the Kukrail Gharial and Turtle Conservation Center. Renovations were completed on two enclosures last month, followed by the modification of an unused adult gharial pond. The pond is six feet deep with a sandy nesting beach, perfect for the turtles which were just released there! 
This facility may soon become known as India's own Turtle Survival Center and be used as a training center for new TSA staff, vets, wildlife officials and zoo personnel.
Twenty-five sub-adult Red-Crowned Roof Turtles (Batagur kachuga) were translocated from the TSA's headstarting facility in Garhaita, India. Here at Kukrail, they will boost the assurance colony for this species, bringing the total number housed here to 51. The turtles which were brought here were all hatched as a part the TSA's nest protection program in 2006.

Link to this web article online (English)

ReD-Crowned Roof Turtle

Ancient Liao Dynasty Chinese Tomb
Chinese Cultural Relics

4. China: 1,000-Year-Old Ancient Liao Dynasty Chinese Tomb Discovered With Stunning Murals

SOURCE: – DATE: 13th November 2014
The 1,000-year-old tomb of a rich nobleman from the Liao Dynasty has been discovered in Datong City, Shanxi Province in northern China, featuring beautiful murals, ceilings covered in constellations of stars and a statue of the tomb's occupant. The tomb, known as M1, was discovered by archaeologists from the Datong Municipal Institute of Archaeology in April 2011, buried 1.5m below ground level near the Datong-Taiyuan Railway line. It is circular in shape and made from brick, consisting of three components – an entrance corridor, a passageway with stairs and a burial chamber. The ancient temple found with a sketch of auspicious items, including a deer, a crane with a red crown, a crawling yellow turtle, flowering peonies, and an axe standing on an orange lotus flower-shaped base, carried by a green snake.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. Alleged turtle smuggler to stay behind bars

SOURCE: – DATE: 17th November 2014
U.S. District Judge Paul Borman refused to release Windsor resident Kai Xu on bond Monday, calling him a “professional smuggler” who lied and continued to break laws while heading an international smuggling operation involving rare, endangered and expensive turtles hidden in cereal boxes and rubber boots. Xu, known as “Turtle Man” within the turtle black market, is facing criminal charges that could send him to prison for 10 years.
The hearing came more than three months after Xu allegedly strapped 51 reptiles to his groin during a failed attempt to cross the Detroit-Windsor border. Federal prosecutors called him a serial smuggler who shipped turtles to far-flung locales, including China.

Link to this web article online (English)

taiwan smuggling©

6. Taiwan sees surge in animal smuggling to China

SOURCE: – DATE: 18th November 2014
In the past few years, Taiwan has seen a sharp spike in the number of animals smuggled to China. Most of them are protected Chinese Box turtles (Cuora flavomarginata) and Yellow Pond Turtles (Mauremys mutica). From 2006 to 2013, more than 11,000 turtles were confiscated from smugglers. In Taiwan, normally, the turtles are sold at $30 (£18) per individual, but in China, they can fetch up to $200 (£124). In the darkness of night recently, 101 Chinese Box Turtles were snatched from a temporary shelter in southern Taiwan's Kenting National Park where they had been held after previously already being confiscated.

Link to this web article online (English)

7. Meet the Pig-nosed Turtle: the most adorable thing you’ll see Today

SOURCE: – DATE: 18th November 2014
This amazing animal is the Pig-Nosed Turtle (Carettochelys insculpta), a native  to the freshwater rivers, streams and lagoons of the Northern Territory in Australia and parts of southern New Guinea. With its delicate piggy snout, webbed flippers and beautiful colors, this turtle gives to show yet again why Australia is home to some of the world’s wackiest creatures. Sadly, the Pig-Nosed Turtle is the only species left in its family, and it too is in danger of disappearing.
Its unusual appearance makes it particularly vulnerable since many seek to keep the turtles as pets. Demand is kept high also by rumors of their supposed medicinal properties among Asian communities (the rhino is another species being slaughtered in the name of superstition and pseudo-science). According to Traffic, an international watchdog group that monitors the wildlife trade, some two million wild pig-nosed turtle eggs are illegally collected by the locals of Papua in New Guinea every year and sold internationally as hatchlings, which can sell on the international market for $39-$56 each. 

Link to this web article online (English)

Pig Nosed Turtle

© pitcharee/shutterstock

8. The USA: Fears confirmed: Texas turtle in trouble

SOURCE: - DATE: 18th November 2014
Evidence that could link the 2010 BP oil spill to the decline of the world's most endangered sea turtle was presented Tuesday at a gathering of scientists and environmentalists.
A study presented at the Second International Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Symposium found oil in the carapace, or shell, of 29 sea turtles that returned to feed in the area of the oil spill in 2011 and 2012. The study found traces of oil, but the scientist who presented the information said there was no way to definitively say that the oil came from the Deepwater-Horizon oil spill, the worst in U.S. history. The only way to say with certainty that the oil came from the BP spill would have been to analyze the turtle's blood in the immediate aftermath of their contact with the oil, said Kimberly Reich, Sea Turtle Research Lab director at Texas A&M University in Galveston. Nevertheless, she pointed out that because turtles nest about every two years, the turtles exposed to oil in 2011 and 2012 would have nested in 2013 and 2014, years that saw steep declines in nesting numbers.

Link to this web article online (English)

Turtle and spill oil

© C. Alkmin

9. Vietnam: Traps found in Dong Nai Nature Reserve

SOURCE: – DATE: 19th November 2014

On the 19th of November 2014, Pham Ngoc Vu, ranger in charge of the Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve area (based in Vinh Cuu district, Dong Nai province, Vietnam), said that:“ Since the beginning of 2014, rangers in the area have found and destroyed over 5,200 traps of different kinds; 1,500 m of trap nets, and 16 temporary huts illegally placed in the Nature Reserve.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


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